Air Belgium Ends Scheduled Flights, Reorganizes

I can’t imagine it took the airline over 5 years to get thus far, however Air Belgium will lastly discontinue scheduled passenger flights, and as an alternative give attention to cargo and moist lease operations (due to Klaus for flagging this). The airline has been hemorrhaging cash since its inception, and that is a part of the service’s reorganization plan.

What’s Air Belgium?

For these not acquainted, Air Belgium is an airline that was based in 2018. Within the 5 years for the reason that airline launched, it has already remodeled a number of instances:

  • The airline began service with Airbus A340s, and initially flew between Charleroi Airport (outdoors of Brussels) and Hong Kong; the service’s long run plan was so as to add routes from Charleroi to mainland China, and have that be the main focus
  • Inside a matter of weeks, the airline suspended that route, realizing it wasn’t precisely an incredible enterprise mannequin; that was the final we ever heard of Air Belgium working passenger flights to China
  • At this level the airline centered on changing into a moist lease operator, working flights for different airways that wanted additional capability; the timing of this was good, as many 787s have been grounded resulting from engine points on the time
  • In October 2018, the airline was getting ready to liquidation, and an emergency normal assembly was held to determine whether or not or to not dissolve; the corporate ended up getting extra funding
  • In July 2019, the airline introduced it might resume usually scheduled flights, however would fly to the Caribbean as an alternative of China
  • In June 2020, the airline introduced it might change from Charleroi Airport to Brussels Airport, and would launch new routes, together with flying to Africa
  • In July 2021, the airline introduced it might purchase two Airbus A330-900neos, and use these for passenger flights, changing Airbus A340s
  • In December 2021, the airline introduced it might add Boeing 747-8Fs to its fleet, and broaden devoted cargo operations
  • In November 2022, the airline was reportedly getting ready to chapter, however the airline managed to boost some extra capital final minute
  • In March 2023, the airline minimize flights to the Caribbean, as they have been unprofitable, and as an alternative centered on Africa

I nonetheless suppose again fondly on my Air Belgium flight from Charleroi to Hong Kong, which needed to be one of the vital weird flights I’ve ever taken. It had a complete of simply 25 passengers onboard. It’s not usually that the beneath photos are what a cabin appears like whereas enroute on a protracted haul flight.

Air Belgium A340 enterprise class
Air Belgium A340 economic system class
Air Belgium A340 economic system class

So the place does that depart Air Belgium at this level?

Air Belgium is working 747-8s for Hongyuan Group

Air Belgium chopping scheduled flights as of October 2023

With the latest stories that Air Belgium was (nonetheless) hemorrhaging and was on the verge of going out of enterprise, there’s now a serious replace. Air Belgium has introduced that as of October 3, 2023, the service will discontinue all usually scheduled passenger operations. Which means the airline will not market and promote any of its personal flights.

As an alternative, the airline will give attention to cargo and working as a moist lease service on behalf of different airways (as the corporate is doing now for British Airways, and can quickly do for LOT Polish Airways). This comes because the airline is present process a reorganization, given the monetary state of affairs.

The airline is blaming its lack of success on a wide range of issues, claiming that this is because of a sequence of exterior occasions which have weakened the corporate, from the pandemic, to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, to inflation. After all this excuse is whole malarkey. The scheduled service enterprise mannequin made no sense earlier than the pandemic, when the airline launched, and it is not sensible now.

As I’ve actually been saying for the reason that day the airline launched, Air Belgium would have been significantly better off all alongside specializing in moist lease agreements and cargo. Now, that’s to not say that it is a recipe for wild profitability, nevertheless it’s definitely a technique to reduce losses, and one of the best ways to make the most of its present fleet, given the dearth of an alternate worthwhile marketing strategy.

To me it’s mind-boggling how simple it’s to boost tens of tens of millions of {dollars} from buyers with none kind of a cohesive marketing strategy. I simply don’t get it. Are there individuals on the market simply seeking to mild cash on hearth? Or when the corporate’s founders pitched somebody on the idea of an airline flying completely between Charleroi and Asia, have been buyers like “yep, that’s undoubtedly gonna double my cash, let’s do it?”

Air Belgium is shifting its focus

Backside line

Air Belgium has come to its senses, and can cease working scheduled passenger flights as of October 2023, after doing so unprofitably for 5 years. As a part of a reorganization, the airline will as an alternative give attention to working as a moist lease and freight airline. Truthfully, this looks as if probably the most smart resolution that this firm’s management has made for the reason that airline launched.

What do you make of Air Belgium’s technique shift?

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button